Symptoms of Stress 

Various symptoms of stress are as follows:

Symptoms of Stress & Consequences of Stress

1. Physiological Symptoms

A ‘stressed-out’ worker may show different stress symptoms. The simplest method to identify own or another person’s response to stress is through physical symptoms because they can be felt or observed individually. The physiological outcomes of stress influence an individual’s physical wellness. 

Some of the physiological or physical symptoms are as follows:

1) Increased blood pressure, 

2) Increased cholesterol level,

3) Changes in the body’s homeostatic functions (pulse rate, temperature or respiration – breathing problem),

4) Increased weight or sudden weight gain, 

5) Faster heart rate,

6) Too much smoking or drinking,

7) Sleep-related disorders,

8) Suffering from extreme body pains,

9) More inclination towards colds and flu, 

10) Recurrent unbearable earaches or toothaches,

11) Stomach problems, 

12) Any involuntary weight loss or loss of appetite,

13) Localised muscle tension or pain,

14) More headaches than usual,

15) Faintness,

16) Sweaty hands,

17) Blushing,

18) Tiredness and nervousness, 

19) Abrupt change in appearance (colour of skin, hairstyle or dress), and

20) Feeling ill all the time,

2. Psychological Symptoms

Psychological symptoms are more damaging than physical symptoms because they can cause serious harm to the person as well as to the organisation. Stress reduces concentration and driving force and usually results in lower productivity and confidence. Some common psychological symptoms of stress are as follows:

1) Sadness, reduced confidence and self-esteem,

2) Excessive negative thoughts, 

3) Anxious about other peoples’ opinions,

4) Illogical thoughts about oneself,

5) Forgetting things more often or through blockages, 

6) Lack of concentration or inattentiveness,

7) High degree of impatience or agitation, 

8) Bad temper,

9) Increased aggression, 

10) Increased feeling of loneliness,

11) Dissatisfaction with the job,

12) Sense of helplessness, 

13) Lack of trust and disrespect of colleagues,

14) Feeling guilty about not spending time with family and friends,

15) Feeling guilty about not being capable of doing his job, 

16) Boredom,

17) Tendency to get irritated with small things,

18) Failure to discipline oneself,

19) Illusion and confusion about duties and roles,

20) Lack of alertness and initiative, generally pessimistic, and

21) Absent-mindedness.

3. Behavioural Symptoms

The behaviour of an individual is directly influenced by stress because it depends upon the mental and physical state of an individual. Various behavioural symptoms of stress are as follows:

1)Teeth Grinding: The habit of grinding teeth or bruxism is generally seen in children and adults a occurs subconsciously at any time. If a person already has a habit of teeth grinding, then he may face more problems during stress.

2) Tremors or Nervous Tics: Tremors or nervous tics are generally experienced by a person who is under stress. Tremors involve shaking hands while holding a glass, whereas tic involves unnecessary blinking of an eye or moving the head distinctly.

3) Eating Disorders: Eating disorders include excessive eating or undereating, which a person does when he is undergoing excessive stress. Obesity, belching and a feeling of a full stomach are an outcome of overeating while acidity, indigestion and weight loss are caused by undereating.

4) Clumsiness: Another symptom of a stressed person is clumsiness. Dropping utensils and spilling tea are some examples of clumsiness.

5) Forgetting Basic Hygiene: Sometimes, due to stress memory of a person becomes weak. He starts forgetting the basic habits like brushing his teeth and flossing which results in dental problems.

6) Alcohol Abuse: People generally consider alcohol as a stress reliever. They believe that alcohol helps in forget their worries, and tensions and make them relaxed and happy. Hence, a stressed person drinks more.

7) Substance Abuse: Addiction to smoking and chewing tobacco is generally seen in society because it contains nicotine which acts as a relaxant. People believe that it makes them relaxed, however excessive dose may lead to death.

8) Social Withdrawal: Mood of a person is negatively influenced by stress. As a result, a person isolates himself from society and is least concerned about meeting friends and attending parties and weddings. Thus, ultimately person becomes a social loner as he starts ignoring people which are close to him.

9) Impulse Buying: Impulse buying is a strong signal in which a person is not able to control his or her actions. For example, a person feels delighted with the acquisition of things and goes on random shopping.

Consequences of Stress

Stress can result in numerous positive and negative consequences. Results of positive stress are more energetic, Full of zeal and inspiration. The negative results of stress are more annoying and need more attention. Stress can lead to both personalindividual and organisational consequences.

1. Individual Consequences of Stress 

Stress makes the life of a person more exciting. A person can be freed from stress only after his death. Stress gets converted into distress when people feel insecure. Stress can produce the following consequences: 

i) Behavioural Consequences: These reactions can harm the person under stress or others around him. An example of such behaviour is smoking. Research has found that people with smoking habits have a tendency to smoke more while they are under tremendous stress. There are many other probable behavioural results such as proneness to accidents, indulging in violence with others and irregular eating habits.

ii) Psychological Consequences: These reactions are related to the mental health of an individual. When people are extremely tense at the workplace, they have a tendency to become discouraged or may have a sleeping disorder i.e., insomnia. Stress also causes weariness, problems in marital relations and other family-related problems.

iii) Physiological/Medical Consequences: These reactions affect an individual’s physical health. Stress is associated with heart-related disorders such as heart attacks. Other usual health-related illnesses are back pain, headaches, ulcers, stomach-related problems, intestine disorders, and skin problems like pimples and rashes.

2. Organisational Consequences of Stress 

Stressed individuals influence an organisation both directly and indirectly. In particular, the organisation is affected by individual stress in the following ways:

i) Decline in Performance: A decrease in performance is a visible indicator of stress. In the case of operating workers, such performance can identify through low output and a decrease in quality of work. In the case of supervisors, it can be identified through defective decision-making or unhealthy relationship with labourers.

ii) Change in Attitude: It is believed that along with enthusiasm to perform efficiently, satisfaction at the job, self-esteem and commitment toward work are also gets affected by stress. Therefore, people may be more inclined to criticise the worthlessness of work, perform only to their least able to sustain their living and so on. Hence, bringing about a change in their attitude.

iii) Withdrawal Behaviour: Absence from work and turnover are the outcomes of stress at the workplace. At times, absenteeism may be genuine and legitimate, such as illness, jury duty, or the death of someone in the family. But sometimes, the employee claims falsely that his absence was due to legitimate reasons and instead stays at home.

When an employee is absent, whether it is legitimate or not, the organisation suffers and the work is hampered or a substitute is hired to do the pending work. In both cases, the quantity or quality of actual production is likely to suffer. It is quite clear, that genuine absenteeism is inevitable, but organisations try hard to overcome artificial absenteeism and also try to reduce the legitimate absence, in the best possible manner.

Turnover takes place when employees leave their jobs. An organisation suffers a lot when they have to substitute the leaving employee. If the turnover involves efficient people, it becomes a more costly affair for the organisation. Turnover can be the result of any of the factors related to work, the organisation, the people, the labour market or the pressure arising from the family.

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